Telling children they are smart at a young age -- instead of praising their effort -- actually may have negative effects later in life, some education experts say. "When we give kids the message that mistakes are good, that successful people make mistakes, it can change their entire trajectory," Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, said at a recent conference.
Principal Susan Lofton said it was a mix of community involvement and teacher dedication that helped turn around Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago. The school had been plagued by behavior problems and low grades. Lofton said through meetings with neighbors and parents, higher academic standards were implemented, plus tougher disciplinary programs.
A bill banning exemptions from school vaccinations for personal and religious beliefs, but that allows medical exemptions considered appropriate by the California Department of Public Health, was signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown. "The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases," he said. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.
As the U.S. Congress mulls a rewrite of No Child Left Behind, Bellwether Education Partners is suggesting a new version of accountability, in which states would develop "compacts" on accountability with the federal government. The group recently released a report that details the plan and offers suggestions for how to enforce it.
Gender and racial gaps remain in science, technology, engineering and math fields, according to a recent report from U.S. News & World Report and Raytheon. The report found that high-school girls are less interested in STEM -- with male students showing greater interest in engineering and technology -- and female students are outperformed in STEM subjects by their male peers.
Officials in Florida are debating a new scholarship program for teachers that awards $10,000 to teachers based on their SAT or ACT scores and other factors. Some teachers say it makes little sense to take college-admissions exams into account, and others point out that teachers who began their higher education at community colleges may not have such scores.
The calls of the Australian chestnut-crowned babbler can convey different meanings in different combinations, according to a study published in PLOS Biology. "It is the first evidence outside of a human that an animal can use the same meaningless sounds in different arrangements to generate new meaning," said study co-author Andy Russell. "It's a very basic form of word generation -- I'd be amazed if other animals can't do this too," Russell added.
A new species of centipede that lives in caves deep in Croatia's Velebit Mountains has been named for Hades, Greek god of the underworld, according to a description of the creature published in ZooKeys. Unlike many other centipedes of its order, Geophilus hadesi never leaves its completely dark domain. It navigates with very long antennae and body hair like fur, both of which help it capture prey, researchers said.
Pluto and its moon Charon are coming into better focus in a photo taken by the New Horizons spacecraft, and NASA has released a snapshot just two weeks ahead of the space probe's close flyby of the dwarf planet. "Looking at pictures on the website, you can see that Pluto and Charon are becoming more distinct in their surface features. It's getting pretty exciting. And every day is bringing new features into light," said New Horizons mission operations manager Alice Bowman.
Mexican jays shake shelled peanuts to determine which ones have the most meat inside before selecting a nut, a study published in the Journal of Ornithology reports. Researchers observed the birds when they were given a choice between normal peanuts and those that weighed just a bit more, and the jays regularly chose the heavier nut. The jays shake each nut in an apparent effort to gauge its weight before making a choice, researchers observed.